It's possible to stay at luxury hotels in Bangkok for a fraction of the price of other major world cities
Bangkok has long been known as a budget destination, but, as prices rise, you need to learn a few tips to guarantee that you experience the city at a low or reasonable cost. Follow our advice:
Saving on Hotels, Apartments and Hostels
The only way to get lower prices in accommodation is to visit during the low season (the rainier months of May to September), or to book well in advance. You’ll find rates going for as much as 50% lower in those cases, and don’t think that rainy season means constant pours -- it’s usually isolated showers once or twice a day. In the high season (between November and January), stick to the hostels or low-cost hotels if you’re on a budget, but you may be surprised to find luxury hotels at surprisingly affordable rates.
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Saving on Sightseeing
Going on a tour in Bangkok is a wise idea, as it saves you the trouble of figuring out how to get to the less central attractions and of walking around looking for them in the heat. The professionally-run tours can also be money savers, as you usually don’t have to pay for transportation. They are also the only sensible way to visit the famous floating markets, as those are nearly impossible to reach by public transportation and can save you the cost of a taxi.
See the available tours in Bangkok.
Eating and Drinking on a Budget
Eating at a roadside stall is an experience most tourists end up having, and that’s how they get their cheapest (and often tastiest) meals. Bangkok is the great street food capital of the world, but if you’re a picky eater (or if you crave something less exotic), head to the food courts. Most of the city’s numerous malls have excellent food courts, providing air-conditioned comfort and the convenience of English-language menus. The best food courts are at Siam Paragon, Central Embassy, Central World, MBK, and Siam Center. They offer more than the famous international fast-food chains, they’re surprisingly good places to try different world cuisines:
Check out the best malls in Bangkok.
Bargaining for a deal is part of the Bangkok market experience. Ask the vendor how much, then offer about half of the amount, and keep on raising your bid until you reach a price that’s fair for both. This is how you can get the best prices for souvenirs or whatever else you’re tempted to buy at the markets.
Saving on Taxis
If you need a taxi, avoid the ones parked outside your hotel. You’ll encounter a friendly driver offering to take you around the city for a fixed rate, but of course that’s much higher than you’d pay for regular journeys. Hail one from the street instead, and make sure it’s metered. From the airport, try to have change, as drivers may claim they don’t have any, and passengers are also required to pay expressway tolls. In order to avoid having a larger-than-expected cost due to time stuck in traffic, consider booking a fixed-price transfer: Bangkok Airport Transfers